Philip Larry Nichols
Philip Larry Nichols was born on May 7, 1944, in Charleston, West Virginia, the son of Woodrow and Perdetia Davis Nichols of Clay County. He had six brothers and one sister. Philip attended Clay High School, graduating in 1963.
In August 1963, Philip entered the Army and underwent basic combat training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. On January 20, 1965, Army PFC. Philip Nichols, a medical aidman in Headquarters Company, 1st battalion, 508th Infantry, took part in the Inaugural Parade in Washington D.C. as a representative of his Fort Bragg Unit, the 82nd Airborne.
On June 20, 1966, Philip Nichols, then a Specialist Four serving as a medic with the Army in Vietnam, was part of a company conducting a helicopter assault on Hill 258 located near Trung Luong. While disembarking their helicopters, the first assault wave came under intense fire from Viet Cong who were entrenched on a higher portion of the hill. During the battle, while under hostile machine gun fire, SP4 Nichols treated many wounded and carried them to safety. Upon learning that one of the other platoons, in an effort to outflank Viet Cong positions, also had several casualties, he again went to the aid of the wounded. While under intense enemy fire, he treated and evacuated them until receiving orders to return to the medical extraction point. For his heroism in bringing ten men to safety and providing lifesaving first aid to many, SP4 Philip Nichols, who was wounded on his fourth trip to rescue the wounded, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
On November 2, 1968, Philip Nichols, now a second lieutenant, was killed in Bihn Dihn, South Vietnam, the result of an explosive device. In addition to parents and siblings, Lieutenant Nichols left behind a widow, Roberta Price Nichols, whom he had married in Kanawha County, West Virginia, on July 23, 1968. His body was returned to the United States and burial was in the Nichols Cemetery near Clay.
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